The British Museum has announced the first major Troy exhibition in the UK.

Troy: Myth And Reality will feature finds from archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann’s excavations at the site of Troy in the 1870s.

The exhibition “will tell the stories of Troy that have fascinated and inspired people for more than 3,000 years”.

Odysseus And The Sirens, Athenian jar
Odysseus And The Sirens, Athenian jar

A large number of Schliemann’s finds, including pottery and silver vessels, bronze weapons and stone sculptures, will go on show, loaned by the Berlin Museums.

The archaeologist offered the objects to the British Museum following his excavation, but it turned down the offer because the asking price, the equivalent of £5 million today, was too high.

The Museum said that exhibition will “reveal the lasting legacy of stories from the Trojan War, first told by early poets such as Homer and Virgil and retold and reinterpreted right up to the present day”.

Filippo Albacini (1777-1858), The Wounded Achilles, 1825, marble, Chatsworth House
Filippo Albacini (1777-1858), The Wounded Achilles, 1825, marble, Chatsworth House(The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth, reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees)

Highlights on display will include a Roman sarcophagus lid with a wheeled wooden horse, while the gilded arrow in the heel of the The Wounded Achilles sculpture has been restored for the exhibition.

It will also reexamine Helen, at the centre of the Trojan War, “not just as a beautiful victim or a feared seductress, but as her own woman.”

The museum’s director Hartwig Fischer said the major autumn exhibition would be a means of “exploring the issues of the present”.

He added: “With its human stories of war, displacement and new beginnings, the myth of Troy has been told for over 3,000 years and across different cultures and languages across the globe, making the British Museum the perfect place to explore these interconnected histories.”

While there has been controversy over international oil giant BP as a sponsor, he said: “We are grateful to BP for their ongoing support without which important exhibitions such as these would simply not be possible.”

The BP exhibition Troy: Myth And Reality will run from November 21, later this year, to March 8 2020.